Monday, July 27, 2009
Xing Yi Five Element Forms
My Xingyi instructor, Jake Burroughs will probably claw his own eyes out after he sees this, but here it is.
While I've been practicing Tai Chi Chuan since 1996 and Bagua off-and-on since then, Xingyi is pretty new to me. In Tae Kwon Do, we had about 16 forms. Threw them all out. Same for Kenpo, all gone. Don't need them, and my instructors couldn't explain some of the arcane postures and movements within the forms.
What I am realizing about the Chinese Internal Arts is that unlike hard styles, Internal forms are more about shapes. Shapes that either exhibit or neutralize power, sometimes both.
Taiji and Bagua movement is intensely complex. At some point, I realized that I needed to start learning Xingyi to complete the trinity of the Chinese Internal arts.
Xingyi looks simple, but it's not as easy as it looks. There are tons of internal alignments to be aware of, and if done correctly can produce tremendous power.
In the short time I have been studing this art, it has helped me understand my Taiji and Bagua much better. Also, I've found myself successfully using the Xingyi hand methods in sparring with my training partners. Jake has said you could just study these five forms for life and develop into a very capeable fighter.
Another thing I find interesting is the relation to Chinese philosophy these forms contain: Pi/splitting fist (metal), Beng/smashing fist (wood), Zuan/drilling fist (water), Heng/crossing fist (earth), and Pao/pounding fist (fire). They naturally relate to the cycle of creation/destruction, and corresponding organs and meridians.
I have a long way to go in this study, but I feel I am beginning to internalize the yin and yang interchange of Taiji, the spiral energy of Bagua, and now the linear power of Xingyi.